Barrick beats consensus as metal prices offset Q1 production decline

BARRICK Gold reported adjusted earnings for 14 US cents a share for the first quarter owing to higher metal prices which offset a decline in production. Analysts had estimated earnings of 11 cents/share for the period.

The dividend was kept at 10 cents a share comparable with the start of its 2022 financial year, said Barrick CFO Graham Shuttleworth.

“Through the maintenance of a robust balance sheet, we are able to continue to provide a strong base dividend to our shareholders,” he said.

Average prices of gold rose 7.8% and peaked over the $2,000-mark during the reported quarter on its appeal as a safe-haven asset following a banking crisis and fears of a potential recession, according to a report by Reuters.

The company’s average realised gold prices stood at $1,902 per ounce, compared with $1,876 per ounce a year earlier.

Barrick’s first-quarter gold production fell to 952,000 ounces from 990,000 oz a year earlier. Its copper production stood at 88 million pounds, down from 101 million pounds a year earlier.

The miner took a hit as harsh winter impacted its northern Nevada operations and annual maintenance weighed on output at its Goldstrike mine, said Reuters.

Regarding the group’s African operations, it said the first high grade stope at the new Gounkoto underground mine a the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali was successfully mined ahead of schedule. At North Mara in Tanzania, mining started at the new Gena open pit.